How many teams are in March Madness? How are teams selected?
March Madness is upon us, and teams have yet to be chosen to play in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Here’s the selection process they will go through
You may have heard the term “March Madness” and been curious about what it refers to. This tournament, is the largest in college basketball. Teams nationwide are invited to participate in this event, and all colleges want to be on it.
This tournament is crazy because it’s set up such that underdogs may win, and completely unexpected results can occur. This means that experts and commentators are notoriously wrong when predicting the winner. However, because of the unpredictable nature of the “Bracket System,” it has quickly become a favorite for sports books.
How many teams participate in ‘March Madness’?
32 of the 68 teams selected are “automatic bids,” meaning they won their conference tournament. The NCAA Selection Committee will choose the remaining 36 teams.
A selection committee ranks the 68 teams on “Selection Sunday,” March 12th this year, based on their regular season performance. Thereafter, four teams will be eliminated in the First Four on March 14th and 15th, leaving 64 teams in the competition. The eight teams in the First Four are the four weakest at-large bids and the four worst automatic bids.
Then, among those 64 teams, the competition is divided into four regions with 16 teams each. The regions are the East, West, South, and Midwest. Teams are rated one through 16 within their regions, determining their seed. The No.1 seed should beat the No.16 seed, theoretically.
How are teams selected for ‘March Madness’?
Teams are selected by the basketball selection committee. The group is comprised of twelve members: athletic directors and conference commissioners. The group gathers on Selection Sunday to decide which 36 teams will participate in the tournament.
One way the committee avoids potential conflicts of interest when choosing the teams is by requiring members to step out of the room when the body is discussing the qualifications of his or her school.
There is no pre-determined formula for deciding whether a team deserves an invitation. Instead, the selection committee considers various statistics in calculating whether a team will be granted an at-large berth, including its record, ranking, and strength of schedule.